Stanley & the Trees

My latest stroll along the Cotswold Way from Coaley View Point to to the junction of the two routes out of King's Stanley and return , proved to be unexpectedly poignant , for when reaching the first of the woods I was met by the sign on the left.

Stanley , was my late Father's Christian name and for many years he lived in nearby Dursley.
He would often drive along the Dursley to Stroud road , which ran parallel for much of this walk.

He would have been delighted to know that he shared his name with this woodland , for like me he dearly loved his trees.

You can find out more about Stanley Wood by clicking the link above.

I cannot praise enough the work of the Woodland Trust , a charity which manages over 1000 woods and allows all of them free to roam ; no strictures , just welcome.

It therefore , will come as no surprise to learn that all Cotswold Way paths that run through Trust woods are very well waymarked ; as was the case with Stanley Wood.

I also ran in Stanley Wood , into the work of Tom Clarke ( see " On the way to a Chimney " 01/08) , a poet who you may remember leaves word messages on gates within woodland.

Here are some examples of his work , that I found during this walk :

The song of a blackbird ,
the prints of a deer.

Rich earth underfoot ,
a light canopy of leaves.

The miles ahead
and the miles behind.

As I mentioned before I have always subscribed to the notion of art , whether sculpture, words or whatever which lives within a natural environment and within the process of time ages and becomes part of the scenery .

The walk itself was a first glimpse of the coming winter ; leaves were spread over the ground and it was muddy underfoot in places , whilst out of the sun's rays the temperature showed a decrease , which made one glad of the scarf and hat.

I am finished now with the Stroud Valley and head next for Dursley.



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